Car accidents can be terrifying, traumatic experiences. However, in the aftermath, it is important for you to retain control and not just let events unfold. You may need to depend on a personal injury claim to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and other issues you may end up facing as a result of the accident.
After the crash, you may get a call from an insurance adjuster wanting to settle the case. At this stage, not even your doctor may know the full extent of your injuries and the long-term impact on your life. Any settlement offer at this time is highly unlikely to cover your needs.
Talk to a personal injury attorney before talking to the insurance company.
In general, it's best to avoid speaking with insurance representatives before consulting your attorney. Even innocent phrasing that seems to downplay your injury or appears to contradict other documentation in the case can lead to problems later on. Keep in mind that insurance companies, including your own, prioritize saving money on payouts, not meeting your needs.
It's important to document the scene if you can.
Police reports are an important part of the accident investigation. However, you should not rely on them entirely. Like anyone else, police officers can make mistakes or fail to get the complete picture. If you are able, take photos of the scene before anyone moves the vehicles. You should also get the other driver's information, as well as contact information for witnesses at the scene.
Follow your doctor's orders.
Many injuries stemming from a car crash necessitate consistent treatments such as therapy, check-ups, medications and more. These can cause physical discomfort and disrupt your schedule, and orders to restrict activity can present a burden when you need to get things done at home or you face pressure at work. Understandably, sometimes complying with your doctor's orders can seem like a lot of trouble.
Nevertheless, it is vital to continue following your treatment plan to its full extent. Otherwise, the insurance company could argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claim or that your condition stems from your failure to follow treatment rather than the accident itself.